Patients on an inpatient service were asked to name the doctors on their care team. Here are the study results:
Of 2807 patients, 2110 (75%) were not able to name anyone when asked to identify an inpatient physician in charge of their care. For the 697 patients who responded with at least 1 name, only 281 (40%) were able to correctly identify 1 inpatient physician on their team.
This was a busy medicine teaching service with a lot of hand offs staffed by academic attendings, house staff, students and night float personnel. It was not the typical hospitalist model of care. However, there were some non-teaching hospitalists in the mix to accommodate resident work hours, and the lessons learned here apply to many hospitalist programs where shift based work routines result in numerous hand offs.
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